Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Colchester 0 Cherries 1

Date: 15 October 2005

A pretty dull game, this one, that always looked like it was heading for 0-0, which would not have been an unfair result for either side.

O'Driscoll chose a defensive 4-4-1-1 formation, as though playing for a draw. Surman was nominated to tuck in behind Hayter but had few shots. In practice, the lively Cooper - playing on the right wing - got into attacking positions more often than Surman did. In the 75th minute Surman was replaced by Cooke who immediately looked lively and - eventually - set up a fellow substitute for the only goal of the match.

Keene came on for Hayter in the 89th minute. A tactical ploy, not to go for the win but to hold on to the draw. However, Keene got onto the end of a Cooke cross in injury time and won the match for us. At the time we thought it might be his last kick for Bournemouth before ending his loan period and returning to Pompey. But now it seems he may be staying on.

Amazingly Colchester managed one final attack after that, but to no avail. They'd hardly threatened our goal all afternoon, but Stewart had coped amply with everything that was thrown at him. Both Gowling and Young were strong and quick-thinking in defence too; but O'Connor and Hart - the full-backs - would have gifted goals to better opposition.

Our scoring chances were few and far between. A Stock free kick in the second half hit the post. Hart, Surman and Hayter had chances too. And in the strangest twist to the game, Hayter prepared to take a penalty in the first half before the referee realised he'd misread the linesman's gesture and there was no penalty to take! The right decision (Hayter had been wrongly adjudged to have been brought down by the Col U keeper) but the oddest thing about it was that a Colchester player got yellow-carded for dissent against the penalty that never was!

The starting line-up (with my scores out of ten) was :

Stewart (6);
O'Connor (5), Young (7), Gowling (7), Hart (5);
Cooper (7), Stock (6), Browning (5), Foley (8);
Surman (6);
Hayter (6).

My 'man of the match' : Foley.

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